Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Recognize Ruiz


Carlos Ruiz has been hot for the Phillies

In seasons past, the role of the catcher on the Phillies club has been to guide the pitching staff, lead the team on the defensive side of things and simply contribute a bit on offense. The same does not apply this season.

In 2008, Phillies catchers posted a .243 batting average. In 2009, Phillies catchers combined for a .252 batting average while driving in 57 runs. This season, Phillies catchers have stepped up their production at the plate and become key contributors to the offense. In 2010, Phillies catchers have combined for recent season highs in all of the following categories...a .276 batting average, 44 doubles, 15 homeruns and have driven in 75 runs.

Some of the increased production could be attributed to the injuries the team has suffered this year, which has resulted in Carlos Ruiz and Brian Schneider batting 7th in the batting order instead of 8th, where the catcher regularly batted in recent years. Other credit can simply go to the catchers themselves, mainly Carlos Ruiz, who has stepped it up to raise his batting average and on-base percentage.

Carlos Ruiz's previous full-season high in batting average was .259. He has posted a .296 average thus far this season. His .837 OPS (on-base % plus slugging %) this season is also by far the highest of his career. In addition, Ruiz's 37 RBI since the All-star break are a career high in any half of his career with more than a week left to play.

Ruiz has been an underrated player on this Phillies team in years past. That should no longer be the case as Ruiz has begun to contribute in more evident ways. The Phillies are close to locking down a team record 4th consecutive division title. Perhaps it's no coincidence that the Phillies' run of division titles began in 2007 when Ruiz's run as the everyday backstop for the club began. The man known as Chooch has become a serious leader behind the dish, in the clubhouse and now with his bat. Give the man his props.
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To check out my exclusive interview with Ruiz from earlier this season, click HERE.

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1 comment:

MVR Joe said...

CHOOOOOOOOCH!